IMD Center Research
Ref: Temp_40678


Workforce Transformation

Reimagining Work for Digital Business Agility

By Professor Michael R. WadeMichael R. Wade, Jeff Loucks, Andy Noronha and James Macaulay

New research by the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation shows that it’s not just algorithms and architectures that are needed, companies must also transform their workforces. Ultimately it is people that will determine whether an organization is successful or not, and workforce transformation can hold huge benefits for employees, leaders and the organization itself.

Digital Business Agility

Workforce Transformation depends on Digital Business Agility, a meta-capability describing an organization’s capacity to understand and react to digital threats and opportunities. DBA has three main pillars: Hyperawareness, informed decision-making, and fast execution. These pillars are not technologies though, but technology-enabled capabilities. Moreover, while they can be understood as discrete, they actually form a complex, interacting foundation for the entire enterprise. 

In respect of workforce transformation we can see them as follows:

Hyperawareness - surfacing employee insights, sensing what is going on throughout the enterprise, among competitors, and in the marketplace. For example, Humanyze, a workplace solutions provider, supplies ‘work-pattern sensing’ tools to capture work and communications data through ‘smart’ badges.

Informed decision-making applies data and analytics to empower the workforce resulting in better decisions at every level of the organization. Logistics company UPS, for example, uses a ‘ubiquitous analytics’ tool, which gives employees continuous, real-time access to analytics in and out of the office, while collaborative platforms like Ranktab support ‘collective decision-making’ in organizations through group polling.

Fast execution manages talent efficiently by responding rapidly to informed decisions. At Cisco ‘Team Space’ is an ‘Intelligent talent allocation’ platform which gathers information on employees with insights used to build the most effective team for a given task. And GlassbreakersJopwell, and WayUp provide ‘agile talent pipeline’ tools with focused marketplaces that give employers access to a diverse pool of talent.

Winning in the Digital Vortex is not just about algorithms, architectures or innovative business models, it requires organizational change and workforce transformation. And successful transformation is enabled by a company’s digital business agility, building on the fact that people are an organization’s most important asset. 


Download full report


Download full report


Keep reading